Shakespeare's Globe

RSS Rehearsal Notes 4

This is Che's fourth blog entry for the 2007 production of Othello in which he talks about final rehearsals and costumes.

Transcript of Podcast

The Final Rehearsals

We have one week of rehearsals to go and we are starting to feel a little nervous. Othello is a very long play and it is hard to rehearse all of it to the degree that we want to. We are feeling the pressure a little bit. We are working extremely hard. We had a run on Saturday which was very good. Obviously some bits fell apart, now we are unpicking it and looking at various little bits. My scenes are OK I think. But we are slightly behind. However, we are really looking forward to previews. They will be fascinating because we will find so much more out about the play.

In the last week we have mostly been blocking and re-blocking the play. We’ve done the whole play, but now it’s about getting inside it. We completely re-worked the fight today. I was slightly resistant at first because we worked that fight to death and suddenly we were putting in loads of new moves. Wilson [the director] wanted to make it dirtier. I have to confess that it is much better and I am happy that we did it. The fight is probably slightly shorter, but it’s more violent, it’s nastier and it’s less artistic, there’s less flashing blade work. It’s more like: ‘have some of this’ and ‘you’d better get out of the way’. It is more dramatic and it flows now. That was two hours work on stage. It is a very athletic piece. They brought a tour group round to see the theatre whilst we were rehearsing it and we were doing the fight and suddenly I looked down and there’s someone’s head and I thought, ‘that is really close!’ At first I felt a little exposed, because we are only rehearsing, only practising, and there are all these people looking at us. The tour guides were saying to us that the people were not listening to a word the guides are saying because they were thinking, ‘who are these guys with swords?’ But in fact it was actually quite good having an audience because once we’d got up to speed we started to feel how close they are and just feel the space of it. It was helpful.

Costume

I love my costume. I love it to death! I have got these senatorial robes, these black velvet robes, floor length, with, almost like, a priest’s collar and I love it. The minute I put it on I feel like the boss. I become a senator. I feel like I am one of the fourteen most important people in Venice. It is brilliant, and what it does for you posture, it’s fantastic! When you put it on you instantly stand proud.

I am wearing long pirate boots throughout which you can’t see under the senator’s robes, but they are visible when I am my second character. For the second character I have a doublet, which I might have to steal because I love it. I am wearing a big white shirt, (apparently the sleeves will detach because it is hot in Cypress), no hats, I think, but we all have swords, pretty long swords.

Oh and we come on in the last scene with crossbows… it’s a brilliant ending … Oh but I don’t want to give it away, you will just have to wait till you see the show!

These comments are the actor's thoughts or ideas about the part as s/he goes through the rehearsal process – they are simply his/her own interpretations and frequently change as the rehearsal process progresses.

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